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An unusual answer to Goa’s road safety problem

Goa is the smallest state in India and it has one of the highest number of vehicles per capita, not only in the country but in the world. Economic progress and increased accessibility to funds has lead to a spike in the amount of motor vehicles being purchased in Goa. It is not wrong to say that every other person in Goa owns a motorcycle or a car, but how many of them actually follow the safety norms? Road safety has over the years become a serious problem in Goa.

In 2014, a short two minute video was created by VithU and Ogilvy and Mather as a public safety announcement showing an innovative way to grab the attention towards road safety. The video titled ‘The Seatbelt Crew‘ featurd a group of transgenders known as Hijras in India, who are seen wearing blue sarees standing at a traffic signal. What they do next has taken many by surprise!

 

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In a hilarious manner, they carry out a flight attendant’s safety routine accompanied with their signature ‘claps’ of course. It was uploaded by Ryan Mendonca who also helped make the video. The video has garnered 49,51,392 views, till date. The video went viral and hopefully helped address the road safety issue.

The light-hearted humour of the video should motivate Goan motorists to retrospect and implement things spoken about in the video. In fact a report published in 2015 has said that for the year 2014, Goa had recorded 4, 229 accidents in which 298 people lost their lives.

According to Goa police most of the accidents are caused due to:

  • Rash-and-negligent riding/driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Using cellphones while riding/driving
  • Human error

Road safety week

Goa traffic police conducted ‘road safety week’ from 11th to the 17th of January in order to create awareness about road safety and traffic rules. In fact the week had a tight policing routine and saw an increase in the numbers of traffic violation challans being handed out. In fact the number of violations seem to keep going up each year.

Roving eyes

Recently a new initiative was started by Police inspector (PI) Edwin Colaco called Roving eyes. Under this concept a multi-function electronic device (MFED) is used to capture the images of traffic violators. The system has been highly successful since its implementation.

The rules certainly need a tougher implementation but also an initiative on the part of the motorists is needed. It is a two way affair just as two hands are required to clap.

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